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Toyota Vehicle Reviews

2010 Toyota Tundra Introduction

The Toyota Tundra is a serious full-size pickup, whether measured by dimensions, hauling capacity or towing capacity. The 2010 Tundra models feature a new grille design and redesigned taillights. Also new for 2010 is the availability of a smaller, more fuel-efficient V8. Refinements for 2010, including adjustable headlights, improve on an excellent truck.

We've found the Tundra to be a stable, comfortable truck for towing a 20-foot enclosed car trailer over long distances. Towing capacities top 10,000 pounds on some models, and maximum payload ratings reach 2,000 pounds.

Tundra comes in three body styles: Regular Cab with two doors; Double Cab with conventional front-hinged, secondary rear side doors; and CrewMax with four full-size doors. Seating is available for two, three, five or six. Three bed lengths and three wheelbases are available.

Trim levels range from basic Tundra Grade to luxurious Limited models with leather upholstery, and from the lowest end to the highest is a price differential of around 2:1. But even the base models are loaded with useful features, including tons of interior storage options, an easy-lift assisted tailgate and four-wheel disc brakes. High-end models are available with GPS navigation and a rearview camera, or a rear-seat entertainment with a 9-inch LCD screen. An available deck rail system in the bed anchors moveable tie-down cleats rated at 220 pounds each.

For 2010, a new 4.6-liter dohc V8 engine is available. Rated at 310 horsepower and 327 pound-feet of torque, and with EPA fuel-economy ratings of 15/20 mpg City/Highway, the 4.6-liter V8 not only has a lot more power than the V6, but better fuel economy, as well. As with the 5.7-liter engine, the 4.6-liter has dual Variable Valve Timing with Intelligence (VVT-i), which optimizes valve timing for the best combination of performance, economy and emissions. It is matched with a six-speed automatic transmission. Toyota expects the 4.6-liter V8 to offer the best combination of power and fuel economy of any standard V8 in the full-size truck segment.

The 5.7-liter V8 engine carries over. With 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque and a six-speed automatic transmission, Tundra boasts one of the strongest, most responsive powertrains in the class. The dohc 5.7-liter is an excellent choice for towing trailers, and has entirely reasonable EPA fuel-economy ratings of 14/18 mpg City/Highway.

A 4.0-liter V6 engine, with 236 horsepower and EPA ratings of 15/19 mpg City/Highway, is the entry-level low-cost choice. It's available only with two-wheel-drive versions of the Regular Cab or Double Cab, and it makes only slightly better economy than the 5.7-liter V8.

The 2010 Tundra offers two new trim levels, a Platinum Package and a Work Truck. The Platinum Package will be available on Crewmax Limited models with the 5.7-liter V8 and Flex Fuel powertrains. On the outside, the Platinum Package includes a billet-style grille, chrome bumpers, unique 20-inch alloy wheels and tires, daytime running lamps, door-sill protectors with a Platinum logo, and Platinum badging. Inside, it includes a power memory function on the driver's seat, outside power mirrors and puddle lamps, and a power tilt-telescoping steering wheel. Also included is a power moonroof, navigation, ventilated seats with a unique perforated leather surface, wood-trimmed shift knob and door switch plates, automatic up/down power windows, chrome accented vents, and headrests with an embroidered Platinum logo.

The Work Truck Package will be available with Regular Cab and Double Cab models, in two-wheel or four-wheel drive, and with standard or long-bed configurations, and with any of the three engines. It will have black bumpers and grille surround and power mirrors will be replaced by manually controlled outside mirrors. Inside will be washable vinyl seats and rubber floors, and several trim and convenience items have been deleted, including cruise control and remote keyless entry, and gauges will be replaced by warning lamps. The idea is to offer to commercial buyers a work truck at a reduced price.

For 2010, all Tundra models receive a new look with a freshened grille and taillamp design. All 2010 Tundra models will have driver and front-passenger knee airbags as standard equipment. Also new for 2010: height-adjustable headlamps, which addresses a gripe we had with previous models. Previous models did not allow any aiming of the headlights, posing a problem when towing a trailer or hauling a heavy load. A shelf to help organize storage space has been added to the lower glovebox, and a new seven-pin hitch connector sits above the hitch to help avoid damage when going over dips and bumps. Two new audio systems are available on 2010 Tundra models: The Tech Audio system features AM/FM/CD, integrated satellite radio receiver, Bluetooth, auxiliary and USB inputs and six speakers, while another system includes AM/FM/CD, auxiliary input, a backup camera and six speakers.

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